What a Time to Be An Artist

This is Salvator Mundi, a recently rediscovered painting by Leonardo da Vinci. It was sold for $450 million by a Russian billionaire, mostly because the Saudi royal family and the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, who both mistakenly thought they were bidding against the Qatari royal family, tried to outbid each other.

The picture ultimately found its way to the Louvre Abu Dhabi after the Saudis flipped it for a mega-yacht.

Yes, this is what actually happened.

A mere four decades ago this would have been unthinkable. The art world was in no position to demand this kind of money. Continue reading

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Superheroes

DeathofsupermanI “created” my first superhero when I was five years old. His name was Captain Hank, and he possessed super-human strength, speed, and he couldn’t age. That was all, basically.

Then, of course, I had to make some villains, and then some other superheroes to aid Hank in his fight against evil.

To some, the concept of  superheroes acts simply as a metaphor for greatness. It can be easily understood by almost anyone, regardless of age, education, culture, and so on. I never actually agreed with this definition.

I believe the concept itself is so primordial that most of us actually miss the point. My definition is that superheroes are characters who possess certain abilities and traits that make them better than normal people in many ways.

But they also have flaws and weaknesses, and they make mistakes. Continue reading

The Duality of Art

All art is quite useless.” – Oscar Wilde.

In a way, I agree with this statement, and I believe it to be an important element of creating and/or consuming art. We’re talking about a multi-billion dollar industry, yet art doesn’t nourish our bodies, doesn’t heal us when we’re sick (physically.) It does nothing to better the quality of our lives in any tangible way. Continue reading

Hard work vs. talent

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” John C. Maxwell

They say hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. And I do agree. After all, talent is never just an innate ability. It’s a lot more than just that.

It’s hard work, perseverance, discipline, vision, courage, faith, and a bunch of others all mixed up into one.

But can hard work alone make you a good artist? Continue reading

Showcase: Francisco Goya

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker, often considered to be the most important Spanish artist of the 18th century, the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. I’d say he was one of the best artists to reveal the darkness that resides in our souls. All that is greedy and wrong with human nature. Continue reading